Monday, January 14, 2008

I learned a few things this weekend in the nursing home.

While visiting my Grandma this weekend, I learned a few things about nursing home life. I feel like they are important things to pass on to my readers.

  • Nursing homes are probably one of the few populated places where you can fart and no one is going to think it's the skinny, young white girl. In fact, fart all you want. There are at least 10 people sitting around you that smell much worse than your Sonic-burger-and-tater-tot fart. Besides, they didn't hear you fart anyway.
  • I can manage to turn just about anything into a creative writing project, including the notebook that was the log of my Grandma's treatment: when she was last turned, when she got her meds, when and what she ate, when and what Teri ate, when Grandma said something and what she said, when Teri said something and if anyone cared or could even hear her, what Teri did between Grandma's 46th and 47th nap, my thoughts on if pink is a good color on Grandma, is that roach that just crawled across the floor a pet and should I name it . . . . I hope my aunts don't get mad at me when they find those pages in the "very serious" log book.
  • The front door is controlled by a code on a keypad. This keeps the residents in and the riff-raff out. However, as soon as you go towards the door to open it, they come after you. Very . . . slowly, I might add. But they do try to make an escape. They won't ever make it. Don't worry.
  • Say you've been wandering the halls all day, everywhere, even places you aren't supposed to wander. This nursing home is a place that when it gets to be late at night, if you want to just take off your pants, tuck them under your arm, and wander the halls pantsless, go right ahead. Well, you can do that if you're too old to know the difference. They seemed to frown upon it when I tried it.
  • Also, if you feel like you need legal advice, feel free to ask the kindly gentleman stranger standing in the hall. If he happens to be my dad, that's fine. He'll send you down the hall looking for someone else who may or may not actually be there. Seeing as my dad is not actually a lawyer and all.
  • However, if your "legal" trouble involves another rogue resident coming into your room and you suspect she stole your teeth, maybe you don't really need a lawyer. Maybe you just need to lock your teeth up when you wheel down the hall for Bingo.
  • I learned that it is not, in fact, ok to smoke in the clean laundry room. I did not find that out on my own. One of the very helpful orderlies demonstrated that for us.
  • Diaper changes are only for the old folks. Again, this seemed to be frowned upon when I asked for help with mine. But in my defense, it was a long walk across the hall to the bathroom, and it was mysteriously locked most of the time. Can't they help a girl out?
After reading that, it's a wonder they left me in charge of my Grandma, unsupervised...



meghant said...

Ha ha - when my gramma was in a nursing home she learned the code to the door. Funny - she had dementia and once tried to eat Pond's Cold Cream - but she always learned the code to the door even when they changed it. They ended up putting an ankle bracelet on her. Here's two important things I learned about nursing homes (or at least the one we had my gramma in) - they'll steal a diamond necklace off a dead woman, and they'll steal her bible. Sorry, still a little bitter about that...even 9 years later.

macdadyj said...